BROTHER TO BROTHER (NR) See review.
MILLION DOLLAR BABY (R) See review.
HOTEL RWANDA (PG-13) See review.
WHITE NOISE (PG-13) In this supernatural thriller, Michael Keaton plays a grieving widower who receives messages from his murdered wife. No relation to Don DeLillo's terrific novel of the same title, but you should read it anyway.
DUTCH SHORTS (2003) (NR) This diverse Dutch collection of animated, dramatic and documentary short films includes Paul Driessen's "2D or Not 2D," Evert de Biejer's "Car Craze" and Annemarie van de Mond's "Bite." Through Dutch Eyes. Fri., Jan. 7, 8 p.m. Woodruff Arts Center, Rich Auditorium. 1280 Peachtree St. $5. 404-733-4570. www.high.org.
THE SOUTH (2004) (NR) Director Martin Koolhoven transforms a seemingly straightforward love story into a dark psychological portrait in this film about a solitary woman's emotional vulnerability to a potential beau. Through Dutch Eyes. Sat., Jan. 8, 8 p.m. Woodruff Arts Center, Rich Auditorium. 1280 Peachtree St. $5. 404-733-4570. www.high.org.
THE AVIATOR (PG-13) It's not perfect, but Martin Scorsese's biopic of ingenious, mentally unbalanced billionaire, aviator and film director Howard Hughes is as entertaining as all get-out, capturing both his nearly supernatural creativity and his debilitating, obsessive manias. DiCaprio proves up to the task of embodying this wildly contradictory man, adding both pathos and perversity to Scorsese's portrait of a deeply flawed but iconoclastic American. This meaty epic provides the added bonus, for Scorsese fans, of shedding light on his career-long propensity for obsessive, charismatic film antiheroes, and for illuminating the many connections the director undoubtedly sees between Hughes and his own creative pursuits always endangered by human fallibility and even madness. -- Felicia Feaster
BEYOND THE SEA (PG-13) Martin Scorsese's The Aviator serves as entertaining, good example of a director with emotional investment in a biographical subject. Kevin Spacey's Beyond the Sea, which he directed, produced and stars in, is a very, very bad example of an actor so obsessed with playing his hero -- "Mack the Knife" crooner Bobby Darin -- that he has lost all touch with reality. The excruciating result covers Darin's life from a sickly Bronx childhood to nightclub entertainer to war-protesting hippie. Spacey is not bad in singing and dancing mode, but proves a cut-and-paste storyteller, mixing cornball Hollywood convention with feeble, self-reflexive Pennies From Heaven-style critical distance to the Darin saga. Spacey isn't fooling anyone. -- FF
BLADE TRINITY (R) In his third film outing, half-breed vampire slayer Blade (Wesley Snipes) reluctantly teams with junior troubleshooters (scene-stealing Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds). Whenever the characters (including Parker Posey, of all people, as a jaded vampire) aren't trying to kill each other, they're walking in slow motion towards the camera -- it's that kind of movie. Debut director David Goyer falls short of the gothic, propulsive Blade II, but provides the minimum requirement of movie mayhem and hip dialogue. -- Curt Holman
CLOSER (NR) A clever, but hardly earth-shattering adult drama about the interlocking sex lives of two couples in contemporary London, Mike Nichols' titillating but contrived film adapts Patrick Marber's hit 1997 stage play. Julia Roberts and Jude Law prove remarkably banal as the adulterous pair who set the sexual roundelay in motion. Far better are Natalie Portman as an emotionally vulnerable stripper and a laceratingly clever Clive Owen as Roberts' cuckold husband and one of the most intriguing combinations of masculine vulnerability and vengeance to strut across a movie screen. -- FF
CHRISTMAS WITH THE KRANKS (PG) A middle-aged couple (Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis) decide to skip Christmas when their only child joins the Peace Corps. The cinematic equivalent of a lump of coal, this adaptation of John Grisham's Surviving Christmas could have gained depth by exploring the characters' motivations, instead of using dialogue as simply a break between seasonal slapstick. -- Heather Kuldell
DARKNESS (PG-13) Anna Paquin and Lena Olin star in this Spanish-produced horror film about a teenage girl whose family moves to a remote country house haunted by ominous secrets.
FAT ALBERT (PG) Fat Albert (Kenan Thompson) and his retro-cartoon crew leap through a TV screen into the real world to help a lonely teenager whose grandfather recently died. Just like the original '70s show "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids", the film aims problem-solving, self-empowering educational messages at kids and tweens. Adults who wander in the theater for nostalgia's sake may be disappointed, but parents will appreciate the clean language and gentlemanly behavior of the flesh-and-blood cartoon characters. -- HK
FINDING NEVERLAND (PG) Director Marc Forster finds a connection between Scottish author J.M. Barrie (Johnny Depp) and his most famous creation, Peter Pan. Both desire to avoid the bitter realities of death and growing up by escaping to a Neverland of perpetual childhood. Depp gives a magical performance in this wonderfully bittersweet, loose adaptation of Barrie's life, which imagines how his friendship with four young boys and their widowed mother (Kate Winslet) -- and their shared experience of death -- might have inspired him to create Peter Pan. -- FF
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